Kusile power station is shown under construction in this file photo. Picture: SUPPLIED
Kusile power station is shown under construction in this file photo. Picture: SUPPLIED

Eskom’s Kusile power station has achieved a first in Africa in terms of the implementation of clean-fuel technology.

The power station’s new wet flue gas desulphurisation plant has achieved a 93% efficiency rate in the removal of sulphur oxides. This ensures the clean and environmentally friendly production of coal.

The air-quality control system was installed by General Electric (GE) and ensures that Kusile is the most efficient and cleanest coal power plant in Eskom’s fleet.

According to Eskom’s acting CEO Phakamani Hadebe: "Kusile is the first power plant in Africa to implement clean-fuel technology such as flue-gas desulphurisation — a state-of-the-art technology used to remove oxides of sulphur, such as sulphur dioxide, from exhaust flue gases in power plants that burn coal or oil."

He added: "This technology is fitted as an atmospheric emission abatement technology, in line with current international practice, to ensure compliance with air-quality standards, especially since the power station is in a priority air shed area."

The GM of GE Steam Power in sub-Saharan Africa, Lee Dawes, said in a statement that SA’s energy demands were growing and coal remained a vital part of the energy mix.

"By bringing cleaner, affordable, reliable and efficient technology solutions to the Kusile power plant, we have proven that coal can continue to play an essential role in meeting the country’s growing energy needs," Dawes said.

"This wet flue gas desulphurisation system ensures the highest removal of sulphur from the combustion process, ensuring that Kusile coal power plant will comply with the most stringent international standards and protect the communities around it while responding to growing energy demands across SA".